Still life of pen,glasses and business file on tableWorking with CEOs and senior executives as both a coach and advisory board chair, I have had the opportunity to observe both those that are successful and those with unrealized potential. While their businesses and their personality styles are all different, when I distill it down, those that succeed share the following three traits:

  • Tenacity
  • Discipline
  • Hiring the best people – paying them and treating them well

Tenacity – The willingness to stay with it, even when there are setbacks. As Winston Churchill said so well, “Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”

Discipline – Successful leaders ruthlessly manage their time, ensuring they ALWAYS carve out time to think and plan and learn. It is so easy for each of us to get caught up in the tasks of the day; successful leaders don’t. They make time to stay close to their business and rise above, stay current and focus on opportunities. And they make time for mental and physical fitness. Every successful leader does this their own way, and every one of them does it.

Hiring the best people AND paying and treating them well – Talented people want to work for talented people. And… the pool of talented people in each industry isn’t large – it is those that find the talented people, pay them and treat them well that succeed. The definition of “well” varies by individual, the leader that understands this and responds to the needs of their key people leads a successful company.

Seems so simple, doesn’t it? Just three things to do.


Elisa K. Spain



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